Qualifying Facilities

Our web pages, Distributed Generation and Net Metering provide overview information.

Qualifying facilities (QFs) were created by the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978. QFs are small-scale generators of commercial energy that meet Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) requirements for ownership, size and efficiency to qualify as non-utility generation units. Because they do not directly serve utility customers, QFs are exempt from many federal and state regulatory requirements, including federal and state rate regulation and oversight by the Securities and Exchange Commission. QFs are not exempt from environmental regulations.

How Are QF Operators Compensated?
Utility companies are obliged to purchase energy from QFs based on a pricing structure referred to as “avoided cost” rates. Since Ameren Illinois does not own any generation plants and procures all of its electric power and supply from the wholesale market, QF customers of Ameren Illinois are compensated based on an annual compilation of Midwest wholesale electric market pricing data as published in Platts, an independent publisher of energy and commodity information. The pricing data is then shaped to synchronize the on- and off-peak pricing periods of the Midwest market and Ameren Illinois. Ameren Illinois pays the same level of compensation in all Rate Zones for output from QF operators. See the current compensation rates.

How Do Customers Enroll in QF?
To operate as a QF, a customer’s generation facility must comply with the standards set forth in Part 430 of the Illinois Administrative Code. If the facility meets the Code’s requirements, the customer needs to complete a Qualifying Facilities Application Form and follow the provisions of Rider QF.

How Does QF Differ from Net Metering?
Net metering enables a customer to apply revenues from power generation against both their Delivery Service and Basic Generation Service costs, while QF provides compensation for the all of the generator’s output based on Midwest wholesale electric market prices. Ameren Illinois is indifferent as to which compensation method a customer selects. Customers need to be aware that the economics and financial return from generation vary significantly depending on the output of the generator, the amount of their monthly bill, their classification as a residential or commercial customer, and the price of the Midwest wholesale electric market.
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